Ed Snow, PEF’s statewide labor-management chair for the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, will be participating in a round-table discussion with state Sen. Roy McDonald and other lawmakers at the State Capitol in Albany Monday, April 23. McDonald, the chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities asked PEF to participate. The discussion takes place in Room 124 in the State Capitol from 1 to 4 p.m. Snow said this is an opportunity to reinforce how state workers are the ones best suited to care for the needs and safety of the state’s most vulnerable population.
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Nearly 200 PEF leaders and members rallied in front of the Office of Mental Health and Office of People with Developmental Disabilities last Thursday in Albany to protest the closures and shifting of services at both these state offices.
PEF’s statewide officers said the services provided by PEF members are vital and necessary for those suffering from mental illness and developmental disabilities. PEF President Ken Brynien said the union will do everything in its power to put people first, and not last, and to halt the state’s attempt towards privatization.
PEF President Ken Brynien spoke at a press conference in Rochester Monday, February 29 to oppose the state’s plans to close the Monroe Developmental Center, operated by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Brynien told members of the media OPWDD is falling short of its mission of “putting people first.”
“In a headlong effort to save money, the agency is shoving residents with disabilities who require high levels of security, supervision and treatment, into group homes or to their families, where adequate services and professional support may be lacking,” Brynien said. “Deeply regrettable results may result from this haste. We’re just asking the state to really start putting people first.”
Dozens of PEF members will rally Thursday, March 1 at 44 Holland Ave, in Albany, the location of the state Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. PEF Vice President Pat Baker said the rally is just another step taken by the union to reinforce the need to maintain services for the state’s most vulnerable citizens. The OMH and OPWDD are seeing facility and ward closures that are eliminating treatment and care options for the most vulnerable. Contact the PEF Mobilization Department for transportation details by calling 1-800-342-4306 ext. 227.